Nine Maine communities in which schools and partnering organizations work to provide arts opportunities for children have been honored.
The Maine Alliance for Arts Education and the Maine Department of Education have designated the communities of Deer Isle-Stonington, Blue Hill, North Haven and Camden-Rockport as Imagination Intensive Communities.
Other areas so honored are Arundel and York, while Brunswick, Denmark and the Reiche School in Portland were semifinalists.
The search for the communities grew out of a statewide census of arts learning that sought communities which, despite difficult economic times, “use their available resources to support the development of young people’s creativity and innovation,” according to a release from the Maine Alliance for Arts Education.
Nine communities in a range of sizes were chosen through an open application and juried selection process.
The nine areas will be visited and studied by groups of Maine residents who do creative work in order to learn about how the communities run their programs and how more areas can do the same thing.
The Kennedy Center, the Betterment Fund, the Maine Arts Commission and the Maine Department of Education funded the effort.